I recently had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of the new Watches of Switzerland boutique in the Wynn Las Vegas. And one of the biggest pleasures (and honors) of the occasion was to get hands-on with the Bovet 1822 Récital 22 Grand Récital, one of the most insanely complicated watches on the planet and a true masterpiece of modern watchmaking. The latter point is underscored by the fact that the Bovet Récital 22 Grand Récital took home the Aiguille d’Or, or top prize, at the 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, watchmaking’s most prestigious awards.
This watch is built around a tellurium. A tellurium is an astronomical model that shows the relative positions and relationships between the sun, moon, and earth. In this case–no pun intended–the sun is represented by a beautiful one-minute flying tourbillon, the earth seen from a point above the North Pole is hand painted, and the moon rotates around the earth once every synodic month, or every 29.53 days. The fact that these types of astronomical movements can be mechanically engineered to run so perfectly is absolutely mind-blowing to me. *And* the watch, including the full perpetual calendar displayed on the back, is accurate to one day’s error in 122 years. Yeah, that’s pretty incredible.
This watch is limited to 60 pieces. Now, I’m sure you’re interested in the price of the Récital 22 Grand Récital. In 18k red gold, you’ll be shelling out $469,800 and for the platinum piece shown in this video (the only platinum piece available in North America), you’re out $502,200. Obviously, this is not a watch that the vast majority of us will ever be able to purchase, but if you’re a lover of fine watchmaking, like me, it’s nice to know that something like this exists in the world.
Today we are are at the Watches of Switzerland boutique in the Wynn Las Vegas to get hands on with one of the most insanely complicated watches in the entire world, and the top prize winner at the 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve, of course I’m talking about the Bovet Recital 22 Grand Recital.
Okay, here it is in the metal, number ONE of 60 that will be produced. Now, I said this watch was insanely complicated, which is absolutely true, but it is also just straight up insane. Before we get to all of the features of the watch, let’s start off with a few of the specs. 46.3mm case diameter, 19.6mm thickness, comes in either 18k red gold or platinum, full grain alligator strap, but sorry to disappoint, it is not water resistant. This is definitely a big watch, and if you’re thinking, man that’s just too big, I would say that size here is completely immaterial as it is truly the beauty, ingenuity, craftsmanship, and passion that is expressed inside the case which is what we should really be paying attention to here.
This watch is built around a tellurium. A tellurium is a type of astronomical model that shows the relationship between and the relative positions of the sun, the moon, and the earth. The sun here is represented by a beautiful one-minute flying tourbillon. The earth is seen from a point above the north pole and is hand-painted in detail, even with wisps of clouds here and there. The earth completes a full rotation every 24 hours, signifying its daily trip around the sun. Hours are expressed around the earth and a fixed pointer at 6 o’clock shows the wearer’s relative location and the hour of the day. The earth also has luminous material applied which is absolutely striking when charged and seen with no light. Around the earth we have the moon, which completes its journey around the earth in one synodic month, or 29.53 days. The phases of the moon are listed in the ring encircling the earth. To the left of the earth is a retrograde minutes display. To the right, we have a retrograde power reserve indicator. Nine days of power, fully wound. The date can be seen through an aperture underneath the minutes display.
The entire display here is accurate to one day’s error in 122 years. That’s the front, now let’s take a look at the case back, which is equally impressive. Here we are looking at a full perpetual calendar. There are displays for the day of the week, the month, and the date which is shown on a moving retrograde disk, which is one of five total patents that Bovet holds for this watch. We’ve also got windows for a leap year indication as well as the hour of the day. One thing that I really love about this movement and case back are the three inscriptions here. I’ll spare you from my terrible French and just translate. Up at the top it reads, “to serve a punctual gentleman”, to the left, “made by masterful hands”, and to the right, “and thus we attest long-lasting value.” It should be pretty obvious that the Recital 22 Grand Recital is not just a watch.
It is an absolutely stunning achievement in watchmaking for Bovet and a true piece of art. At a price point of $469,800 in 18k red gold and $502,200 in platinum, I think it’s fair to say that this is not a piece that, let’s say, most people will have the purchasing power to acquire, but as a lover of fine watchmaking it sure is nice to know that something like this exists, and not only that, but that the passion, innovation, and vision to IMAGINE something like the Bovet Recital 22 Grand Recital also exists. Want to give a big thank you to Bovet and also to Watches of Switzerland for the opportunity to bring this watch to you. Definitely not something you get to see everyday! Let me know what you guys thought of this watch down below in the comments.